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Last Thursday’s article regarding the violations and unjust amendments to the Kuwaiti Nationality Law was met with different reactions ranging between strong support and strong rejection and this is normal when the issue is of vital importance and at heart is the issue of the identity of a homeland and the identity of citizens as every word on this topic can be interpreted in a different manner than intended by the writer, therefore it is important first to correct some of the errors contained in the article.
The selection of the year 1920 as the base year for acquiring Kuwaiti citizenship in an original capacity was made mostly at the suggestion of the late Hamad Yousef Al-Issa. Also, the year in which the famous manipulation of the nationality file occurred during the era of the late Sheikh Jaber Al-Ali was in 1966, not 1980, when he was acting Minister of Interior for a short period.
It is said that the number of those who acquired or were granted the citizenship by Sheikh Jaber Al-Ali and from a specific tribe was in hundreds, not in the thousands and there does not seem to be agreement on the real number.
I have never objected to the acquisition of citizenship of children of the naturalized persons and under any article or pretext as long as the children are small or were born after their father obtained the Kuwaiti citizenship.
My main objection focused on the children of the naturalized persons who acquiring the Kuwaiti nationality when they were adults though they had lived in their original country until the age of puberty, during which they formed loyalty to that country , then came with their father to Kuwait and obtained the nationality, and therefore they must , according to the text of the 1960 law, which has been manipulated and amended, wait for thirty years from the date of naturalization in order for them to acquire the nationality by origin and have the right to participate in the political process and to assume senior positions.
As for the children of naturalized Kuwaitis to become Kuwaitis by origin according to the text of Law No. 44/1994, they have equal rights like others without waiting for their loyalty to their new homeland to crystallize with the passage of the thirty-year period is not acceptable especially after we have seen the bad consequences of the overall situation in the country.
As for saying that several Western countries including America in which Arabs, Muslims and African immigrants became members in Congress, so why not be like them. This saying is unfair because the number of immigrants who became members of Congress is very few within a huge population. Environment and laws prevent them from exploiting the situation according to their sectarian or tribal affiliations, and this is unlike what happened and happens with us from those who obtained citizenship illegally and succeeded in tampering with the identity of the homeland and moreover, more often than not they are not loyal.
Like many others, I do not believe in the classification of nationality (acquired-naturalized) but at the same time I do not believe that everyone who has obtained the citizenship is necessarily loyal to this country or that his loyalty is not in doubt.
The small size of the state, in terms of population and geography and the corruption of its government administration make me express my reservation about the automatic entry into the political and legislative sphere for anyone once they acquire the citizenship. I still believe that what the founding fathers demanded is the necessity of a sufficient period of time for acquiring citizenship in order for loyalty to take root and this is a very important issue.
Also, I still believe in the necessity of granting citizenship to highly qualified people and those who have rendered great services to this nation within clear and strict conditions.
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In an effort to overcome my backlog of articles I decided to add a Friday to publish them and the measure may be temporary.
e-mail: [email protected]
By Ahmad alsarraf
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